Semprus BioSciences closes $18 million Series B round

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Semprus BioSciences Corp. reeled in $18 million in Series B financing for its nanotech medical device coating.

Semprus CEO David Lucchino told MassDevice that the company will use the proceeds to build a team of "been there, done that" medical device executives and to scale up its manufacturing operations.

"Investor expectations with this round of funding are that we would gain regulatory and clinicial clarity, along with having an initial product in hand to start initial sales. We’re looking at the next 24 months as being that window," Lucchino told us.

The Semprus Sustain technology, which was developed at the Mass. Institute of Technology and the University of Washington, is a coating for implanted medical devices designed to prevent blood and bacteria from adhering to the implants. Semprus is initially targeting vascular access products — read catheters — which the company claims kill 56,000 people each year and cost the healthcare system $11.2 billion annually from infections and blood clots.

"Think of it as millions of molecular-sized oak trees that are rooted in the medical device. The size, the shape, the structure of those oak trees really creates the long-term surface performance that we’re looking for," Lucchino said. "Our ability to disrupt the way bacteria and blood components interact with medical devices is a huge deal."

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK)’s venture capital arm, SR One, and Foundation Medical Partners co-led the round. Prior backers 5AM Ventures and Pangaea Ventures also joined the round, which brought Semprus’ total equity financing to $28.5 million, according to a press release. In connection with the Series B round, Foundation Medical Partners principal John Sullivan and SR One partner Dr. Simeon George will join the Semprus board of directors.

In September, the company landed a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Since 2008, the company has landed $2.5 million in funding from the U.S. departments of defense and energy, the National Institutes of Health and the NSF, according to the release. Also that month, Semprus wooed Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX) design engineer Douglas Weaver to be its group leader of process development.

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